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May 30, 2009

浅井健一 Kenichi Asai


Foreigners at Fuji Rock all too frequently miss out on some of the best that J-rock has to offer. Make a special effort this year to see some of the Japanese artists, and you won't be disappointed that you did.

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May 28, 2009

The Higher

Just push play up there. See if you aren't at least a little infected by this ditty, even if you thought you might be able to cavalierly laugh it off as teeny rock. I was so disarmed by it that I was literally disarmed of 99 cents on iTunes to buy it. Yeah, you heard me, I paid 99 cents of my own good money for this song. Youwannafightaboutit?

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May 26, 2009

Summer Fests, Head To Head

I've been assuming that Summer Sonic had been snagging many good acts away from Fuji in recent years. But I think I may have thought too soon, as a cursory glance at the two line-ups doesn't give the winnership clearly to either one. And you know what they say about assuming: it makes an ass out of u and ming. And Ming doesn't really deserve it, what with the toiling away 18 hours a day in a dank factory making Lewis Vouleton bags and toddler knives, not to mention that weird 'communist' government of his.

So I figured I better subject my assumption to some critical analysis.

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Tom Freund


Jinki wrote about Diplo's links to various acts. And there's an obvious link between the Neville Brothers and the Funky Meters, as well as Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra and Asa Chang. Here's another one:

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Good old Glasto

Fuji Rock's template - Britain's Glastonbury - once again serves up a line-up of mind-boggling wit and variety:

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May 25, 2009

Kevin Bacon at the Turntables?

Above: Buraka Som Sistema on Al Jazeera English

Musicians can be an incestuous lot, and that goes double for the DJ set. So I shouldn't be surprised to find less than six degrees of separation joining many of this year's late-night performers at the Red Marquee.

More after the jump.

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Priscilla Ahn

"I was a little girl
alone in my little world
who dreamed of a little home for me"

I have to agree with this blogger that the word that completely encapsulates Priscilla Ahn is 'lovely'. Which is precisely the target she is aiming for.

These opening lines from "Dream" from her debut album, A Good Day say just about everything that needs to be said. They are purely sincere; there is no irony or arty twist later in the song. This is not the indie music of Feist or Laura Veirs; the pedigree is Jewel and Blue Note labelmate Norah Jones, music made for sweet girls with strong nesting instincts and the young men who love them (as is clearly the case with the aforementioned blogger).

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Lad Rock

Modern rock criticism is a boring ramble of musical categories that few of us could care less about: post-rock, emo, screamcore, darkwave, etc. It’s as if these critics spent too much time in record bins and never have the chance to take one home, toke up a smoke, and let the free-form associations flow.

Thankfully, most bands – aside from Tortoise- this year at Fuji Rock don’t need categorizing. Still, if one wants to engage in this pedantic and useless exercise, I think it’s best if we use obscure, pejorative terms such as my new fave, “Mancunian Lad Rock.”

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The Long Way


Longwave, an upstate-New York band, are having a tough time of it lately. Not fitting into any particular musical genre and getting "lame" record review in Pitchfork, read it here may mean that the best thing that could happen to this band is playing Fuji Rock this summer.

A look at the band's myspace site shows Fuji Rock as the only firm date this summer, a list of other cities are followed by initials “TBD” indicating the band has had its share of difficulty when it comes to fitting into the hip, new music scene.

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A Whole Lot of Soul


We previously told how our brothers and sisters in rock at Smashing Mag traveled to Austin, Texas earlier this year for SXSW. One of the acts the site’s editor, Koichi Hanafusa, was most excited to see was Eli "Paperboy" Reed & The True Loves.

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